Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing was a fiasco. Putting aside the details for a moment, two basic themes emerged.
First, the micro: the Democrats were outrageously rude to the Attorney General of the United States. The hearing was devoted to their abusing him on various ridiculous grounds. He barely got a word in edgewise. At one point, he said something like, “This is a hearing. Aren’t I the one who supposedly is being heard?” Of course not. Whenever he got to mid-sentence, the Democrats interrupted him. “I’m reclaiming my time” was the theme of the day.
I am not sure who the Democrats think is the audience for this sort of nonsense. Sentient voters watching on television couldn’t possibly have been impressed. Maybe they are just looking for sentence fragments they can use in fundraising emails.
Then there is the larger point. The Democrats are committed to the view that what is happening in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta and other cities is mere “peaceful protest.” Thus, the Trump administration is unjustified in sending in federal officers to protect federal property, like courthouses. And to the extent that anything untoward happens, it is Donald Trump’s fault. This was the main theory that the Democrats tried to advance through their “questioning” of Attorney General Barr.
This theme is so stupid that it boggles the mind. Presumably most people have seen video footage of the violence that has taken place in cities like Portland and Minneapolis. They have seen violent assaults and burning buildings, long before any federal agents arrived. They have seen massed, armed criminals doing battle with police officers. Can the Democrats possibly be fooling anyone?
We are approaching a very weird election in which one of our major parties is taking a stand in favor of rioting, looting, arson, destruction of federal property, and violent attacks on law enforcement. The Democrats seem to think that this is a winning formula. If it is, our republic is doomed. While we may be in deep trouble, I don’t think we are that far gone yet.
One more thing: perhaps the only non-rhetorical question in today’s hearing came from Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell: “Do you commit to not release the Durham report before the election?” Barr’s answer: “No.” Obamagate is the reason why the Democrats undertook to demonize Attorney General Barr before he was even sworn in. They know it is a chink in their armor, and they have no defense against the facts except to defame the messenger. Hence their over-the-top attacks on William Barr. Whether the Durham report and/or indictments will arrive in time to do any good is another matter.